The Baffler,  July 14, 2015

Daily Bafflements


An anti-Uber protest in London. / David Holt

• A group of jumped-up, self-directed micro-entrepreneurs with the temerity to claim to be Uber employees, since Uber’s business model is predicated on their labor, have taken the company to court. They want benefits, they want reembursement, they might even want insurance. Uber, on its end, worries that the plaintiffs “seek an outcome that many, if not most, proposed class members oppose.” Jacob Silverman wrote about Uber’s profitless mirage, which “depends on courting regulators, disseminating propaganda of libertarian economic empowerment, and finessing its way around local laws,” on the Baffler blog.

• Over at the LRB, Lidija Haas notes of Amy Winehouse, the subject of a new biopic by Asif Kapadia, that “unlike Senna, who seems to have been more or less unaware of or unfazed by being filmed, she has a dynamic relationship with the camera, shifting from a playful, often flirtatious presence in early footage shot by friends, to an increasingly weary, lonely, spied-on expression as the paparazzi close in.” This article reminded us of Anne Helen Peterson’s piece on the politics of celebrity labor: the fruits of Kim Kardashian’s, Peterson argued, “lack the clear thesis of a Beyoncé product.” Less of a thesis still in Winehouse’s. 

• Today in mix-ups: Did Scott Walker steal his logo from a spectacle store in Georgia? Did two entrepreneurs seriously think their “Gmail productivity startup” should keep the name GrexIt, hoping to eventually smoke out fears of Greece leaving the eurozone in Google’s sea of results? 

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